FIV – Chapter 3

Kim woke Zoe at exactly 6am and filled her with coffee before ushering a groggy Zoe outside to relax on their area of beach. They made their way a few feet out the back sliding door, towards the waterline, and made themselves comfortable where the minimal sand began and water stretched out in front of them.

It was unseasonably warm for early September in Vermont and Kim wanted to take full advantage. She sat down on her beach towel, her legs crossed in front of her, and she dug through her Michael Kors tote bag. She pulled out her sunglasses and placed them comfortably on her face and then dug her book out of the bottom of the bag.

A few minutes later, as the girls were relaxing, Zoe groaned and asked rhetorically, “why did you wake me up so damn early? This is ridiculous.” She glared at Kim over the top of her sunglasses and then cocked her head defiantly before laying back on her towel and closing her eyes.

Kim chuckled to herself. “Zoe, it’s gorgeous outside and we need to take advantage of it while we can. I heard that it could possibly rain tomorrow so we won’t be able to enjoy this tomorrow morning.”

Zoe groaned. Kim wasn’t sure if the sound was meant as a reply or if Zoe had fallen asleep again.

A while later, after Kim had clearly heard Zoe snoring lightly, Kim put her book aside and searched her bag for a bottle of water. She took the lid off the bottle and looked out at the water before she tipped her head back and took a sip. Kim realized she hadn’t been this relaxed since starting her career in law and she smiled in appreciation. She screwed the cap back onto the bottled water and threw it in her bag before leaning back on her elbows and staring out at the peaceful water. As she scanned the beach, seeking out the tranquility of Vermont, the silhouette of a man startled her.

Kim sat up and tried to get a better look. The sun glinted off the water and reflected in Kim’s eyes, obscuring her view. She shielded her eyes and squinted to get a better look at the stranger, who wore hip-waders and stood a few feet into the water.

He held onto a fishing pole and was slowly reeling in the line. He was about 5’10″ and wore sunglasses, which hid his eyes. The subtle salt and pepper colour in his hair indicated that he was significantly older than she was. Kim guessed he was about ten years her senior, yet she also noticed he was fit and in-shape, to which she raised her eyebrows. The muscles in his forearms were taut as he reeled in the line of the fishing pole and the bulge of biceps at the cuff of his short sleeve shirt caught her eye. Kim found herself smirking stupidly. Embarrassed at the thoughts floating through her mind, she was grateful that no one could read her mind.

The stranger didn’t notice Kim. Instead, he seemed relaxed and leisurely, like a man lost in his own world. As he cast his line into the water again, Kim stood up and wiped the grass and sand from her lower body. She threw her swimsuit cover-up over her hips and then made her way towards the man at the water’s edge.

As she got closer, she hollered, “hello, mister.” The stranger had obviously not heard her so she cupped her hands around her mouth and yelled louder, “excuse me, mister!” The man turned to face her, his pole all but forgotten in his hand.

Scott hoped that his sunglasses hid the surprise on his face. Well, holy shit, he thought to himself. What are the chances of this happening?? He instantly recognized the girl from the music festival. He quickly reeled in the rest of his line, placed the hook on the first eyelet near the reel, and then made his way towards the shoreline to meet her.

“Hi, sorry to bother you but you seem to have wandered onto our stretch of beach,” she explained as nicely as possible without any form of malice or anger. “The owners told us that the beaches were semi-private, and you seem to be on our part of the water.”

For a moment, his lips would not form any words. He could only stare in wonder at the girl before him. Eventually, Scott set the handle end of his rod down in sand and slightly leaned against it before he removed his sunglasses and smiled at the girl in the tye-dyed bikini and the see-through coverup. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t realize that I had crossed the tree line.”

Kim saw the stranger’s eyes make their way down and then back up the entire length of her body. She suddenly felt self-conscious and crossed her arms across her chest. “It’s okay. No harm done.” She absolved him. “If you could stay on your side from now on, I’d really appreciate it.” She gave him a friendly smile in spite of wanting to run and hide. Her self-consciousness dissipated when a smile crossed his lips.

“Sure.” He stood rooted in one spot, unable to take his eyes off the petit brunette whose eyes were hidden behind oversize sunglasses. He stared at them, hoping to catch sight of the stunning colour that he knew hid behind the lenses.

In spite of being a lot older than herself, Kim noticed that the stranger was even better looking up close. He had crystal blue eyes that ignited a fire inside of her. His smile charmed her. Kim realized she was staring at him and quickly tore her eyes away from him to look down at her bare feet in the sand. “Okay, well, thank you.” Kim gave him one last smile before turning to walk away.

“My name is Scott.” He called after her.

She froze mid-stride and slowly turned around to face him again. A smile played at her lips. “Hi, Scott. I’m Kim.”

They stood a few feet apart and smiled at each other before Kim turned around again and began to walk back towards her towel in the sand.

“You’re welcome to cross the tree line any time.” Scott called after her again and Kim tried to stifle a grin. “Our cabin is always open for drinks.”

Kim didn’t stop walking and didn’t turn back to look at him, fearful that she may have embarrassed herself by staring at him again. Instead she waved at him over her shoulder as her grin got harder and harder to contain.

Once she was settled beside a still snoring Zoe, Kim was disappointed when she noticed that Scott had disappeared. She sighed before attempting to read her book again. For the next while, her gaze subconsciously lifted over the top of her book to the water in front of her. And each time she looked, a small part of her was disappointed to find that the strange man was nowhere to be found. A vision of his blue eyes and his charming grin popped into her mind and she found herself smiling again as she looked down at Zoe, who had missed the entire situation.

What the hell am I doing? She scolded herself. She tried to brush the man’s smile out of her mind, but she found it hard to do.

Later that afternoon, as the girls were in the kitchen, munching on raw veggies, they talked about going into the city the following day to pick up more groceries and possibly having lunch together at a nice restaurant or bistro.

During a lull in the conversation, Kim passively mentioned the fisherman she had talked to on the beach that morning.

Without hesitation, Zoe asked, “was he hot?”

Kim shrugged, not wanting to give away her thoughts from earlier. But her best friend knew her well enough to understand.

Zoe feigned shock. “A hot guy was on our beach and I missed him?”

Kim chuckled and shrugged. “That’s what happens when you sleep the day away.”

“Damn. I’m disappointed that I didn’t get to see him.”

Kim rolled her eyes in playful mocking. “Well, he invited us over to their cabin for drinks,” she mentioned passively.

Zoe’s eyes opened wide at the revelation. “He invited us over there?”

Kim nodded without looking at Zoe and dipped another baby carrot in the veggie dip.

“What the hell are we still doing HERE then??”

Zoe grabbed a bottle of wine off the kitchen counter with one hand and grabbed Kim’s hand with the other and led her best friend towards the sliding glass door at the back of their cabin.

She turned to her friend and stated, “never ever turn down drinks from a hot man,” as they made their way through the tree line towards the men’s cabin.

FIV – Chapter 2

Scott held up his can of soda and clinked it against his friends beer bottles in a toast. 

“Cheers!” They all yelled in unison as they stood in front of the stage.

Scott had offered to be the designated driver that night because he knew his friends would probably get a little crazy during their guys night at the outdoor concert, so he didn’t mind drinking strictly soda that evening. It seemed a fair trade-off considering the amazing music he had heard so far. He needed a break from the cabin in the woods and Burlington was only a short drive from the remote, lakeside retreat where him and his friends were staying during their holiday.

Each year, the guys took turns choosing a place that they wanted to spend a guys vacation, away from the stresses of everyday life, where they could go fishing and enjoy some men’s time without worrying about families, work, and hockey. That year, Scott had picked Vermont. Being a music lover, he was happy that they had the chance to catch the outdoor music festival in Burlington even though he didn’t know about it before they had arrived. It was a pleasant, spur-of-the-moment surprise when his friends agreed to go with him. He was happy to get away from the secluded place they were staying even if it was just for one night. And even if he had to drive there and back.  

After they had all taken a collective slug of their respective drinks, Jeff had spied a group of younger girls and had wandered off in their direction while Scott and Kevin watched the master at work. Jeff was the perpetual bachelor with no intentions of settling down any time soon. He was in his early 40s and still acted as though he was 21. Scott and Kevin often wondered how Jeff had the stamina to keep the interest of girls who were about a decade younger than himself. It was all a mystery to the two men who preferred to keep a lower profile in the social scene. 

Kevin shook his head in amused shock. “I wouldn’t have the energy to woo my wife again. I love her and I’m glad she said yes when I asked her to marry me all those years ago, but I’d never be able to get back into the dating pool. I don’t think I’d want to.” 

Kevin and his wife had been married for almost fifteen years and had two young boys at home. Both boys played hockey and Kevin coached both of the teams. He was the accountant for the local junior hockey team and he worked very closely with Scott, who was the Head Of Hockey Operations for the team. 

“And how does he always seem to find the youngest, hottest girls at every party?” Kevin wondered aloud. 

Scott chuckled, shook his head, and replied, “I have no idea how he does it.”

Kevin turned back towards the stage and focused on the music as Scott scanned the crowd of people who surrounded him. He was impressed with the large crowd that had gathered in the street. He noticed that Jeff had made his way into the beer tent with the group of girls and stood at the bar, buying more alcohol for his new friends. Scott chuckled knowingly to himself. 

Just as he was about to turn his attention back to the band, he noticed a petite, dark-haired girl standing against the barricade. She stood alone, no noticeable friends stood next to her. The smile on her face was enough to pique his interest. With her eyes closed, she swayed in time to the music, letting the beat of the ballad carry her away to her own little world. She intrigued him. Her dark hair cascaded over her shoulder as she allowed the music to control her, not concerned about what the people around her were thinking. She was oblivious to her surroundings – the sign of a true music lover. 

The background faded and it was as though Scott was caught up in her world with her and he began to move in time to the music as well. Something about the girl, who looked a few years younger than he was, drew him in, intrigued him, made him wonder. A silly smile tugged at his mouth as he watched her. It was as though he was in his own bubble with her, just the two of them. He already liked this girl and he didn’t even know her name. There was a magnetic force, pulling him towards her and it was powerful. 

He knew he shouldn’t but, against his better judgement, he turned to Kevin and asked if he needed another drink. When Kevin shook his head, Scott yelled over the music, “I’m going to head to the beer tent for another soda.” Kevin nodded and then turned back to face the stage. 

Scott weaved his way through the crowd towards her. He kept his eyes on her while he walked until she opened her own eyes and met his gaze. She smiled at him, a simple, friendly, generic smile.

For a moment, he stopped in his tracks. Her eyes. They were an ocean of blue among a crowd of faceless other people. She was stunning. Something struck his heart in that moment, it was a once in a lifetime moment that he knew he had never experienced before. He knew he should turn around and head back towards his friends, but he kept moving forward instead. Something mystical drew him towards her and he was powerless to fight against it. He needed to meet that girl. 

He lost sight of her in the crowd of people for a moment, but he trudged on, in search of her. When he reached a clearing in the crowd, he stumbled upon the very spot where she had been, but she was gone. As disappointment washed over him, he saw her at the exit, throwing a cup in the garbage and chatting happily with a friend as she walked out of the gate. He let out a defeated sigh. His chance had been lost.